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Endings and New Beginnings

Dear Friends,
As you may have heard, I have decided to embark on a new chapter in my life and will be leaving SirsiDynix. It’s been a wonderful ride for almost five years. We’ve done a lot of good work together and I have been afforded a lot of special opportunities.
The highlights of my time at SirsiDynix include the continuing encouragement of innovation in product development and work processes, working on cool projects such as Library 2.0 portals, marketing innovation, SchoolRooms, Enterprise, and opening up the ILS to innovation through API’s, market research, and more. I was especially happy with the speakers and programs of the SirsiDynix Institute and the executive sessions at our user group conferences for UUGI, CODI and COSUGI. With the SirsiDynix team it was exciting to be involved in building the largest ILS company in the world, with a significant presence in all types of libraries. I’ve traveled the world and met my professional colleagues on every inhabited continent and spoke to folks about the challenges facing all of us to thrive in the emerging knowledge economy. Bringing the diverse perspectives of users and librarians back to the SirsiDynix teams has, I believe, made them one of the best informed vendors in the world. I’ll miss them.
I’ve made a lot of friends at SiriDynix and with our library clients. Indeed, the experiences I have shared with library folk globally have provided me an invaluable education and the relationships we have built are lasting and valued. The library sector is filled with passionate, inspiring people who I am honored to call my friends, and I will take those friendships with me wherever my new opportunities take me – from interactions and speeches at library events to the drinks at the pub after a long day on the floor of a major conference.
I tremendously appreciate SirsiDynix’s support of this blog, my speaking engagements around the world and my activities with associations like ALA, SLA, OLA and CLA. It was a lot of fun, every moment presented another great learning opportunity, and I hope that the connections that I have made with you through the journey has had an impact for you as well.
As of January 1, 2010, I am excited to join Gale Cengage as Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Markets. The position is new to me, but the challenges represent a return to my roots in content licensing, portal development, and research, learning, community and experience products for libraries. I’ll also continue to invest time in communicating library content and technology strategies in the context of a positive vision for our shared future. Since Gale Cengage has just about every library in the world as a client and a ton of great content resources and products, I feel like I am a little kid entering the biggest sandbox in the world and the sandcastle of my dreams is just a playtime away.
While I look forward to my new opportunity, these days truly are bittersweet, as I leave a company full of committed professionals, including a significant number of librarians, who have supported and encouraged me in every step of the way. I am confident in the hands I leave the clients we have worked hard to serve, from SirsiDynix management to development and support engineers and staff, all of whom are dedicated to the vision of each library customer. I am looking forward to attending and speaking at the SirsiDynix COSUGI conference in March and presenting at the SirsiDynix Institute sometime in 2010.
SirsiDynix has encouraged me to continue blogging, so I look forward to continuing to use Stephen’s Lighthouse to share personal memories, neat things I want to keep track of and to shine a light on information that I think can help everyone to navigate the choppy waters on our path to the future.
Watch this space for more. As usual I’ll be oversharing as is my wont.
Happy holidays everyone. Here’s to another successful year for libraries around the world and the industries that work hard to support their success.
Stephen
p.s. the nice SirsiDynix press release about my departure is here.

Posted on: December 18, 2009, 11:00 am Category: Uncategorized